Lots of women come to me with the question, “Is it ever ok for the woman to say ‘I love you’ first… or should she wait for the man to say it first?”
Maybe you’re with a guy and you feel like things are going really well. And maybe you’re feeling really tempted to say “I love you!” – maybe it feels like it’s there in the relationship he just hasn’t said it yet.
more: Why Men Fall In Love
I’ve gotten this question from women who have read a million magazine articles and taken a million quizzes and just aren’t sure whether it’s ok to say it first or not.
So the real question is, how do guys respond when a woman says “I love you” first?
Should You Say I Love You First?
Many women wonder what’s going through a guy’s head when he hears it for the first time in a relationship. Speaking from experience, and from my understanding of how relationships work, I can say that generally… it’s better to let him say it first. Let me explain why. For guys, hearing the words ‘I love you’ generally isn’t the big important thing it is for women. Guys are most happy and excited to be in a relationship when the relationship is going well – when both parties are happy and enjoying themselves.
It doesn’t matter as much for most guys to hear those words from a woman – they just don’t carry the same weight that they do when a woman hears them from a man.
So what runs through his head when he hears them?
When a woman says ‘I love you’ first, it creates instant pressure on the guy – ‘Am I going to say it back or not?’
That pressure feels really bad to him – it creates all sorts of expectations and uncertainty around a single moment, and he generally doesn’t know what to do next… even if he’s ready and he actually loves her.
Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Does He Love You?
Most guys do not respond well to that pressure – I know that in my life, the couple of times that a woman has said ‘I love you’ first to me in a relationship didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. It sucks to admit it, but I don’t think I handled those situations well.
The reason why it doesn’t go well is because generally those 3 words mean more coming from the guy first than coming from the woman.
When a guy says ‘I love you’ first, he’s declaring his love – he’s making his ‘intentions’ clear so to speak.
When a woman says ‘I love you’ first, if he’s not ready, it creates pressure and expectations (that aren’t there as intensely when a guy says it first to a woman) that cause tension and complications in the relationship. Often, it feels like the issue is being forced.
So Should A Woman Never Say It First?
Now, the point needs to be made – every person is different. No two people are alike.
This advice isn’t going to cover every possible situation, but generally it’s the best rule of thumb to follow.
Many woman bring up the concern that they will somehow ‘lose power’ and ‘put him in the driver’s seat’ if they say it first.
I’ve mentioned this before, but anyone looking for ‘rules’ about relationships is generally not going to be in the best command of their relationships. If you think about relationships in terms of following the ‘rules’ rather than acting naturally and enjoying yourself with another person, it’s going to wind up hurting you.
Rules make you act differently and unnatural in a relationship – they make you think you have to do weird things to keep the ‘upper hand’.
Whereas when you act naturally and don’t worry about the ‘rules’ in a relationship things flow much more smoothly. It just feels good to be in the relationship – without expectations and without tension.
At the end of the day, guys want to be in a relationship that feels good, not one where they’re playing by a set of ‘rules’ (that most of them don’t even recognize or necessarily even know).
If a guy feels like things aren’t natural, and that you’re acting on some sort of hidden agenda (like following the rules of a relationship as you see them) it will weird him out – his guard will go up instantly.
And when a guy’s guard is up, that will stop trust and intimacy from developing in the relationship, and sabotage things before they have a chance to begin.
So this all begs the question…
If You Shouldn’t Say ‘I Love You’ First, How Will You Ever Know Whether He Loves You?
Lots of women want to know what they should do to find out whether a guy loves them, or how get him to say it first.
First of all, don’t focus on trying to get him to say it first.
Remember what I said about acting unnaturally in a relationship? That always comes from having a hidden agenda that you’re trying to achieve in the relationship with him.
That agenda might be following relationship ‘rules’ that you read in a magazine, or it might be trying to do things to “get” him to say ‘I love you’ first.
Like I said before, that unnaturalness will get him to put his guard up, and delay or even completely stop love from developing in your relationship.
Instead, it’s better to take a look at why you need to hear those specific words.
Words aren’t actions – him saying those 3 words won’t change what he’s actually doing, it won’t change how he thinks of you, and it won’t change the way you are together.
Lots of people get focused on the words like they mean something more than how the relationship actually functions, where in real life the opposite is true.
After all, how many friends do you have that have been in horrible relationships (that you knew were gonna fall apart before long) where they still said ‘I love you’ to each other?
There are dysfunctional, terrible, unhappy relationships where the partners say ‘I love you’ all the time, and there are great, caring, loving relationships where neither party says ‘I love you’.
In reality, it’s much more important how you relate to each other and how your relationship functions as a whole. The words ‘I love you’ mean something different to every single person and every situation and relationship is different.
It’s best not to focus on just the words – but rather to focus on the quality of the relationship.
Do you feel good around him? Do you feel love from him? Is your relationship happy? Are you comfortable with each other and around each other?
If it feels really good to be with him and in general the relationship is overall great – it’s best not to worry about it.
If things aren’t going well with him, remember – him saying 3 words to you isn’t going to change anything about how you function together. They’re not ‘magic words’ that will overhaul and revitalize your entire relationship – they only mean as much as both people put into them independently.
It’s less about whether or not he’s said it, and more about how your relationship functions in general. When you keep that in mind, and focus on making your relationship as loving, caring, and positive as it can be, the words ‘I love you’ will grow naturally as a byproduct. Good luck.